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Conway Park
Somerville Ave & Central St, Somerville, MA 02143

The city's flagship park, this cheery outdoor space boasts two basketball courts, an outdoor street hockey rink, twoMore lush baseball fields also used for soccer and football, and an extra-large tot lot featuring the city's only super-high slide. But wait there's more. A water play area, plenty of picnic tables and shaded seating as well as a fascinating outdoor museum that serves up city facts and history on colorful, giant lollipop-shaped signs round out the fun. You'd never know the beautiful 4.5-acre site was a former brownfield that the city reclaimed after a smelting company spent 50 years polluting it.

Other highlights include a park house with bathrooms, a state-run DCR indoor skating rink in the center of the property, and a free parking lot (on Bleachery Court). And no resident should miss out on the fun facts on the storytelling path. Did you know, for instance, that Mary of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" lived in Somerville?

The Park at Somerville Junction
Woodbine St & Centre St, Somerville, MA 02143

Tranquil seating, flowering shrubs and a small stretch of grass for playing catch make this one-and-a-half-acre parkMore a welcome neighborhood green patch—but it wasn't always so.

The park was once the site of the Somerville Junction train station. But after the Boston & Lowell Railroad abandoned the site in the 1930s, it turned into a dumping ground. When city officials surveyed the area in 2006, they found toxins, and urban debris (concrete, asphalt, and so on) piled up in layers up to 4 feet thick. Soon though, the park would be reclaimed.

Cambridge Health Alliance donated the $1 million parcel to the City. The City acquired an EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant as well as state and private funding, and then kicked in City funds to match. The site was cleared, soil was replaced and grass and trees were planted. Pretty plantings and benches were the finishing touch.

Today, all are welcome (including dogs)  to quietly relax here. And when the nearby Green Line station goes in, the park will once again serve commuters: this time as a pretty neighborhood passageway to the new station.

Cambridge Chronicle
20 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

Founded in 1846, The Cambridge Chronicle holds the distinction of being the oldest weekly newspaper in theMore United States that is still publishing. Though its editorial offices are located in Somerville, next to the Davis Square MBTA station on Holland St., the paper serves the city of Cambridge.

A print edition is published weekly on Thursdays and is available both for purchase in town or via home delivery.  Their online version, Wicked Local Cambridge, is updated daily. The paper is owned by GateHouse Media Inc., which publishes over 300 papers in 20 states. Print circulation is approximately 7,500.

 

Somerville Journal
20 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

Founded in 1870, The Somerville Journal is a weekly newspaper serving the city of Somerville.  A printMore edition is published on Thursdays and is available both for purchase in town or via home delivery. An online version, Wicked Local Somerville, is updated on an ongoing basis.

The paper is owned by GateHouse Media Inc., which publishes over 300 papers in 20 states. Print circulation is reported at more than 6,000. Their editorial offices are located next to the Davis Square MBTA station on Holland St. 

Shaw's Supermarket
14 McGrath Hwy, Somerville, MA 02143
It was way back in 1860 when New Englanders started relying on Shaw's for fresh produce, meats and groceries. That's aMore lot of tomatoes, hamburgers and corn flakes. Today, with over 25,000 employees in five states, Shaw's Supermarkets and it's sister companies continue to uphold it's reputation as a leader in food retail and community development. At the Twin City Plaza store you'll find a huge selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy and bakery products as well as a Moneygram counter where you can transfer cash around the world.
Zipcar
Highland Ave & Central St, Somerville, MA 02143

Zipcar brought car sharing to Cambridge about 11 years ago and has since become the global market leader. Zipcar ownsMore cars and respective parking spaces; you join, you reserve the car, you drive it, then you return it. The company has grown, in part, because its mission is about sustainability - fewer cars on the road for less time, less fuel emission permeating our air.

Additionally, Zipcar has won numerous awards and has its own iPhone app. The company has found a huge customer-base in crowded city environments where parking is a costly hassle. Car sharing forces people to think twice about when it's really necessary to use a car. Somerville is home to over a dozen Zipcars, parked throughout the city. The company has cars in 32 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Veterans Memorial Skating Rink
570 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

The City of Somerville took over administration of this state-owned ice rink in fall 2010, and immediately introducedMore more public skate times and programs including hockey lessons and league play for both youths and adults. The rink sits in the middle of Conway Park on Somerville Avenue. 

Public skating is free and as of 1/2/11, skate rentals were just $6. A snack bar is open daily and an on-site pro shop offers skate sharpening.

FUN TIP: The rink hosts birthday parties as well.

Gold's Gym
14 McGrath Hwy, Somerville, MA 02143

Pump some iron, crank on the machines or build your cardio endurance at this state-of-the-art fitness facility tuckedMore into the corner of the Twin City Plaza. You can work out by yourself, with a trainer or by signing up for one of the group classes such as Pilates, aerobics, yoga, tai chi and zumba. There are plenty of lockers for your gear, and you can even work on your tan while cooling down from your workout. 

The gym offers a trial membership, so you can check the whole place out before joining. Plenty of free parking in the lot out front.

Mission Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
130 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

In 1919, Robert C. Lawson gave a sermon in a church basement in New York City that so inspired those present, that heMore soon founded his own church: The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC). The church is a Protestant denomination that belongs to the Oneness Pentecostal tradition (which states that God is one being that manifests himself in different forms). The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith now has roughly 600 churches worldwide, including the Mission Church in Somerville, which is affiliated with it.

The Mission Church's imposing, granite, Richardsonian Romanesque church was built in 1894 for the First Unitarian Church. Today, Bishop H. A. Moultrie, II, leads the Mission congregation thereSelf-described as a "warm and loving church," the congregation has many active programs including three choirs, two singing groups and men's, women's and youth groups.

Friends of the Community Path
112 Belmont St, Somerville, MA 02143

Friends of the Community Path is a local group dedicated to the extension of mixed-use paths through Somerville toMore the Charles River. The group is advocating for the current path, reaching from Davis Square to Cedar Street, to be extended 2.5 miles east, thus linking the Alewife Linear Park, and the 13-mile long Minuteman Bikeway to the 17-mile long Charles River Paths by way of Somerville. 

In conjunction with the City and several other local organizations, such as STEP, the Somerville Bicycle Committee, and Shape-Up Somerville, Friends of the Community Path helps to raise funds and awareness of the project, gathers local feedback and communicates with government and transportation leaders to try to move the path extension forward.

The Friends of the Community Path see "the possibility of synergy between the bike path and public transit" according to Spokeswoman Lynn Weissman, and hope for the construction to be included in the State's plans for the Green Line Extension. 

Nathan Tufts Park/Powder House Park
College Ave & Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

In a way, Nathan Tufts Park all began with a windmill. In the early 1700s, French immigrant Jean Maillet built aMore windmill atop a hill in what is now Somerville. He couldn't have known that the 30-foot-tall stone structure would one day play a role in the American Revolution—or that two centuries later, it would become Somerville's most prominent landmark and the crowing feature of a park.

After Maillet stopped milling grain, colonists began storing gunpowder within the mill's thick stone walls. When the British raided the cache in 1774, the colonists were so enraged that historians consider the event a trigger of the revolution. After the war, a farming family named Tufts purchased the land and in 1892 gave it (and the mill/powder house) to the city. A park was created and named for Tufts family member Nathan Tufts.

Today, the park retains the graceful curving paths and stately landscaping intended by the original designers. (One path follows an old carriageway.) Used mostly for passive recreation—walking, playing quietly, and relaxing—it offers a peaceful respite from busy Powder House Square. Others make use of the small basketball court. A stone field house, built during the Great Depression as part of the WPA (Work Project Administration) Project is now used for youth programs and community meetings. And not only is the park on the National Register of Historic Places, the powder house is pictured on the Somerville city seal.

Fun fact: The powder house has stored more than gunpowder. In the 1800s, a pickle maker found it to be the perfect, cool place for storing his "Old Powder House" brand pickles. For a wonderful brochure on the park filled with similar fun facts, click here.

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